BOX OFFICE: ‘Help,’ I need some money, ‘Help,’ not just any money

Posted by · 10:16 am · August 21st, 2011

So, “The Help” took the top spot at the box office in a rather thin weekend for new releases. But it’s the hold that matters, and this one clearly has staying power. Combined with the impact it’s having with Academy types, that makes a contender, folks, and you’ll see the film, Davis, Spencer and the costumes chalked up for nominations in tomorrow’s predictions update. We’ll just have to see how much staying power it has, because mid-August is an early release for an Oscar hopeful. There’s really not much else to say elsewhere.

(Courtesy: Exhibitor Relations)




→ 45 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Box Office

45 responses so far

  • 1 8-21-2011 at 10:26 am

    Ben M. said...

    The Help continues to surprise me and I have to think that this great run (perhaps the biggest b.o. surprise of the summer IMO) could boost its oscar chances.

    Beyond that, I feel we have now entered the late summer dumping ground with all four new releases having underwhelming openings and don’t expect to see any hits for the next few weeks. In fact, when you consider that more than 60% of Friday’s gross for Conan and Fright Night came from 3D showings, those two could well have opened even weaker. Too bad for Fright Night as it is a fun movie; though it wasn’t very expensive so maybe it can turn a small profit after international b.o. and dvd/blu-ray (the latter probably being the biggest market for an R-rated horror film).

  • 2 8-21-2011 at 10:44 am

    jason said...

    i’m surprised at how badly the new releases did. i saw tons of ads for conan, one day, and fright night. yet they all made less than the spy kids movie. heck i thought conan would make 30, fright night would make 18-20, and spy kids would be the one making 5 mil or less.

  • 3 8-21-2011 at 10:53 am

    RichardA said...

    I’m tracking Crazy, Stupid, Love just because of the type of movie it is and the target audience. The opening was weak but it seems like it’s holding up after a few. Sleeper hit?

  • 4 8-21-2011 at 11:10 am

    Jacob S. said...

    Oh my. Kris, please just ask Chad to make the titles from now on.

  • 5 8-21-2011 at 11:19 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, what can I say.

  • 6 8-21-2011 at 12:00 pm

    m1 said...

    Crazy Stupid Love is probably going to hit $75 million before all is said and done.

    As for going to the movies, the next movie I’m anticipating is Contagion.

  • 7 8-21-2011 at 12:13 pm

    JJ1 said...

    My impressions: The Help’s drop makes me extremely happy.

    ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ continues to do quite well.

    ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ (which I thoroughly enjoyed) is having decent legs.

    ‘Midnight in Paris’ keeps on making $$.

    On Oscar prospects: It’s early. We know this. But I really think that ‘The Help’ could potentially get a handful of noms (Pic, 2 or 3 acting – depending on category placements, costumes, etc.). And I’ve yet to speak to anyone (aside from the internet) who has disliked it; and most adore it.

  • 8 8-21-2011 at 12:16 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Oh, and I saw ‘Conan the Barbarian’ – which – after the 20 minute mark (which I liked), really descends into bad camp, bad acting, bad everything. With 30 min. left to go in the film, I couldn’t wait to bolt outta there. It deserves the bomb ($$) it has coming for it.

  • 9 8-21-2011 at 12:21 pm

    Fitz said...

    It certainly didn’t help ‘Fright Night’s’ chances when a good chunk of the critics said that it didn’t justify itself as a remake.

    Seriously? Have they even seen the 1985 original?

  • 10 8-21-2011 at 12:30 pm

    m1 said...

    Did anyone hear? Midnight in Paris is getting another wide release next weekend.

  • 11 8-21-2011 at 12:30 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Kris mentioned adding “The Help” to his predictions for best picture, actress (I assume), supporting actress, and costumes. But in a film with so many excellent performances, a lot of credit might end up going to the director. I realize four cast members of “Doubt” were nominated and the director was not, but except for Viola Davis, those nominees were proven stars. In “The Help,” like in “Precious,” the director is getting great performances from everyone.

  • 12 8-21-2011 at 1:35 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Fitz, I haven’t seen the original Fright Night so I can say how the remake compares, but actually the reviews for the film were good for a horror movie. For instance, while it is no critics award contender, it is rated slightly higher than The Help on both metacritic and rotten tomatoes.

    So if anything I would figure critics could have helped it a bit. Personally, I already had some interest in the film before this week but probably wouldn’t have gone if the reviews had been like the ones the other wide releases this week got.

  • 13 8-21-2011 at 2:19 pm

    Maxim said...

    Fright Night actually got a very respectible RT score. Hopefully some of that “The Help” cash will offset the dissapointment of this film’s gross for DreamWorks.

  • 14 8-21-2011 at 2:21 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I just don’t think people cared to see a scary movie re-make this particular weekend of the Summer. There was no big name, aside from Farrell – who isn’t a HUGE star. And ‘The Help’ (a hit), Planet of the Apes (still bringing them in), Spy Kids, Conan, 30 Minutes or Less … I see competition there. I thought FN would do better, but not much better than it did.

  • 15 8-21-2011 at 2:57 pm

    SC said...

    I expect the actresses in “The Help” will have staying power, because, bluntly, there’s not a huge amount of alternative sources of potential non-white nominees, and the Academy voters do in fact want to have some every year (there weren’t any last year, but I really can’t think of anyone noticeably left out, marking that as more a sign of the year than anything else).

  • 16 8-21-2011 at 3:20 pm

    Andrea said...

    The Help actresses will have staying power because the strength of their performances are worthy enough to be remembered. Period.

    Certainly seems to me that Hollywood is running out of excuses to not greenlight for women. The box office hits lately- The Help, Bridesmaids, Black Swan, pretty much most Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep movies lately far out weigh the flops. We are out there Hollywood. And we want to see original stories that appeal to us!

  • 17 8-21-2011 at 3:23 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    I guess ‘Fright Night’ making the top 5 indicates a decent opening? For the R-rating and shitty marketing campaign, I’d say the studio has to be slightly pleased.

    I still don’t understand how anyone willingly goes to see Spy Kids or Conan.

  • 18 8-21-2011 at 3:56 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Ha, I saw Conan, Dana, because I loved the original, was curious about this version, and was honestly in the mood for an R-rated gorefest. And I’m honestly not usually in the mod for something like that. I also had a free ticket. ;)

  • 19 8-21-2011 at 3:58 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I also felt like going to a movie on Saturday afternoon and had seen everything else I wanted to see to that point. Any other smaller films that I still want to see are too far away right now.

    I also saw ‘Sarah’s Key’ on Thursday morning and thought it was quite good; better than expected. Though, no big Oscar prospects anywhere within the film, imo.

  • 20 8-21-2011 at 4:10 pm

    RichardA said...

    I finally saw “The Help” and I couldn’t keep my self from thinking that I was watching a Best Picture nominee. Apart from everything positive that has been said, I thought that it was an “important” movie being that it’s from a fresh perspective. I’m rooting for an Octavia Spencer nod.

  • 21 8-21-2011 at 4:34 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    @JJ1- I would have done the same had I gotten a free ticket but would have snuck into a different movie ASAP ;)

    R-rated gorefest lured you in? No love for ‘Fright Night’? I thought it was a sufficient R-rated semi-gorefest.

  • 22 8-21-2011 at 4:46 pm

    JJ1 said...

    You know what, I never cared for the original FN very much (I know that’s probably a huge minority opinion). So, that’s what it was. I liked the original Conan, so. :)

  • 23 8-21-2011 at 6:35 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    I’m glad that Crazy, Stupid, Love. seems to be holding its own. Alongside Win Win, it’s perhaps my favorite film of the year thus far. I hope it scores a Golden Globe nod or 2+. (Maybe since Best Actor – Comedy/Musical is always tragic, both Carell AND Gosling might get in. Picture is tricky, but it could happen.)

    This is great for The Help, naturally. This kind of success is what will allow it to persevere throughout Oscar season. I’m still torn over whether I’d prefer Davis as a lead or supporting nominee. I think she belongs in lead, but could win in supporting. Ugh, so tricky.

  • 24 8-21-2011 at 6:47 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Kris, are you or Guy going to do a GG prediction list?

  • 25 8-21-2011 at 8:20 pm

    Joe7827 said...

    Just curious, Kris: do you see “The Help” as a bottom-half, glad-to-be-there nominee? Or an “oh my goodness, this thing might win” contender?
    My dad and I contributed $20 to the Brendan Gleeson For Best Actor fund. He’s good, but “The Guard” felt oh-so-slight. I don’t even forsee a screenplay nomination; after all, at least “In Bruges” had emotional weight.

  • 26 8-21-2011 at 8:24 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Dunno about Kris, but I think I can safely say The Help will not go so far as to actually win. Not even thinking it could make the BP cut this season, as you need a certain percentage of votes. It’s not an automatic 10 nominees, but anywhere from 5-10.

    Random Gleeson mention, lol. That was from a Guy article days ago.

  • 27 8-21-2011 at 9:04 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    I second that, I can’t see it making the BP line-up. That is, of course, unless the presumed Oscar bait fall short of expectations… then, sure.

  • 28 8-21-2011 at 9:24 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Just for fun, since my curiosity about it has been piqued, some rough draft GG predix:

    BEST DRAMA FILM
    The Artist
    The Help
    The Ides of March
    J. Edgar
    War Horse

    BEST DRAMA ACTOR
    George Clooney, The Descendants
    Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
    Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
    Tom Hardy, Warrior
    Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    (I can possibly see Tom Hardy for Warrior in the mix, but not sure just yet. I’m slightly skeptical they’d embrace a silent performance, but can’t see it affecting his potential SAG/Oscar nominations anyway. Would add Hardy in my predix wholeheartedly if Clooney or even Dujardin get placed in Comedy/Musical.)

    BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
    Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
    Viola Davis, The Help
    Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
    Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
    Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

    (I kinda wonder if Williams will be campaigned as leading or supporting. Redmayne’s the actual lead, but we’ve been in this Streep/Whitaker situation before. Kirsten Dunst could possibly get in here, even though the Oscars is unlikely for her. Also, speaking of Streep, wouldn’t be surprised to see that go Comedy/Musical. If The Tourist can….)

    BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL FILM
    50/50
    Bridesmaids
    Carnage
    Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Midnight in Paris

    BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
    Steve Carell, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Matt Damon, We Bought a Zoo
    Paul Giamatti, Win Win
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
    Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

    (Seems pretty solid. Giamatti may be wishful thinking, but they’ve surprised us in the past, and he just won last year, so they love him clearly. Carell may also be overshadowed like Giamatti, both by Hanks perhaps. We’ll see. Also, Clooney = comedy or drama? If UITA is drama, I’m leaning towards that for now.)

    BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS
    Jodie Foster, Carnage
    Julianne Moore, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne
    Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
    Kate Winslet, Carnage

    (That last category was a pain in the ass. I’m hoping Roberts is a bad filler prediction. I wish Rachael Harris had a chance here beyond Spirit Awards. Maybe there’s a surprise contender waiting….Or maybe The Iron Lady will classify as a comedy. I dunno.)

  • 29 8-21-2011 at 9:29 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Oops. I accidentally forgot to undo Hardy and replace Dujardin in the 5. Either scenario seems plausible, or both over Oldman possibly.

    Also, I hope that HFPA classify The Help as a Drama, and not shove it in Comedy/Musical. But it could happen–in which case both Davis and Stone will get nominations.

  • 30 8-21-2011 at 11:50 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Dana: Not until the week before Globe nominations are announced. Any earlier would be madness. (Love ya, The Other James D.)

  • 31 8-22-2011 at 5:38 am

    m1 said...

    Moore is not a lead in Crazy Stupid Love. Switch her out with Scarlett Johansson.

  • 32 8-22-2011 at 6:19 am

    JJ1 said...

    We’ve gotten away from box office, a bit, lol. But since we’re going there, I think Actress in a Comedy/Musical is STACKED.

    Foster, Winslet, Wiig, Rudolph, Moore, Stone (for several), Johansson, Diaz, Roberts, Kunis, Cotillard/McAdams, Aniston (HBosses), Streep (if HPFA go there), Davis (if HPFA go there, doubt it), plus any other viable contenders that pop-up.

    That’s a wowzer list to narrow to 5.

    I also hope HPFA find spot(s) for Gosling somewhere.

    On a box office note, anyone surprised by how ‘Cowboys vs. Aliens’ has kind of leveled out with not-too-awful legs. And ‘Harry’ is doing mightily impressive with smaller drops than expected, too.

  • 33 8-22-2011 at 7:57 am

    The Other James D. said...

    @Guy: Hahaha. Thanks. I embrace the madness though. All of this is madness, all the time.

    @m1: Have you even seen the film yet? Moore feels like a lead to me. There are some scenes from her perspective, such as with her son in the office. The trailer conveys it as revolving around Carell and Gosling, but in fact, the hierarchy of the roles is Carell – Moore – Gosling – Stone, and so forth. So if HFPA feels desperate enough, it’s possible. It’s really more of an ensemble film though–and a terrific one at that. That being said, I’m not confident about that filler choice. She was my favorite part about the film though, actually.

    @JJ1: That’s a wowzer to you, eh? :P Still kind of dire, imo. If they’re desperate enough, Davis/Stone and/or Streep would strengthen it. If not, it’s still bare.

    For one thing, NO WAY will Cotillard be considered lead. I doubt even McAdams will be considered lead. That flick is all about Wilson, and everyone through his eyes. McAdams had a few scenes without him, but still felt supporting.

    Diaz was on my mind. Maybe. Not sure they’ll go for her film, or Kunis’s for that matter. But I can see either of those two as the fifth filler choice. I’d love to see Rudolph reimbursed for that awful snub from 2009. (She should’ve been nominated for Away We Go. I blame Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, too.) But I think it’ll be Wiig and her only. And Aniston–again, how is she lead? The bosses are all supporting the wannabe murderers!

    Lol @ Johansson. Can’t remember the last time she was ever good. They used to love her, but thankfully snubbed her to make room for Rebecca Hall for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. We’ll see.

  • 34 8-22-2011 at 8:04 am

    JJ1 said...

    I guess I just meant that the potential for a strong 5 is there (out of those 17-18 I listed).

    I only put Cotillard/McAdams because the film may go over well with HPFA and many Supporting performances have gone Lead with the GG in the past (esp. in those Comedy/Musical categories).

    I also wish they’d find room for Maya Rudolph (her big ‘scene’ in Bridesmaids was hysterical, and the ‘Away We Go’ snub did hurt).

  • 35 8-22-2011 at 12:32 pm

    m1 said...

    I did see Crazy Stupid Love, and she did not have enough screen time to warrant a Best Actress nomination IMO. The only two actors in that film I can see being categorized as leading are Carell and Gosling.

    Here’s my Best Actress-Comedy list:
    1. Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
    2. Scarlett Johansson, We Bought a Zoo
    3. Amy Adams, The Muppets
    4. Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris
    5. Jodie Foster, Carnage

  • 36 8-22-2011 at 3:38 pm

    m1 said...

    Okay, I just did some house-cleaning with my predictions. Put Charlize Theron at the top. Bump off Cotillard, put Adams in fifth, and put Foster in fourth. Got all that?

    Also, Robert Downey Jr. will be nominated again for Sherlock. Bet on it.

  • 37 8-22-2011 at 3:43 pm

    m1 said...

    And has it become the trend to hate on Julia Roberts? I thought she was great in Duplicity, and deserved that nom over Bullock’s performance in the terrible The Proposal.

  • 38 8-22-2011 at 3:53 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    m1: As it happens, Roberts was my “should win” pick in that race. I was nearly crucified by the Streep brigade.

  • 39 8-22-2011 at 4:22 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Solid list there @ The Other James D.

    Slight alteration, I would replace Julia Roberts with Amy Adams for ‘The Muppets’.

  • 40 8-22-2011 at 4:25 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Any idea on who may be hosting the GG this year? That’s always fun to predict ;)

  • 41 8-22-2011 at 5:33 pm

    m1 said...

    40-Oh, how I wish Gervais was doing it again.

  • 42 8-22-2011 at 6:44 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Ha, that would be terrific. I didn’t mind when Ellen hosted the Oscars. If she’s willing to downgrade for a night, I guess. My dream duo would be Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. Or just one of them would be fine.

  • 43 8-23-2011 at 5:04 am

    The Other James D. said...

    @m1: Moore became more of a lead and Gosling faded more into supporting halfway through. It’s really Carell at the forefront first and foremost, but I don’t think GGs would have a problem considering both lead contenders. After all, both Collette AND Breslin were considered leads, and Breslin was stretching it as well.

    However, it seems odd that you’d shrug Moore off as belonging in that category, yet you think Cotillard does?? Strange. Almost every scene revolves around Wilson, and Cotillard’s only there to support him. I think if she gets nominated (which I hope that she does), it’ll be in supporting.

    Lol @ The Muppets. Anything could happen with HFPA, but I don’t think so.

  • 44 8-23-2011 at 5:08 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Actually, maybe I should entertain the Adams possibility. They love her and that should be enough to validate a nod for her here.

    Good tip reminding me about the Sherlock sequel. Let me amend both Actor and Actress accordingly:

    BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
    Steve Carell, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Matt Damon, We Bought a Zoo
    Robert Downey, Jr., Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
    Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

    BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
    Amy Adams, The Muppets
    Jodie Foster, Carnage
    Charlie Theron, Young Adult
    Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
    Kate Winslet, Carnage

    Yeah, that feels a lot more plausible, haha.

  • 45 8-23-2011 at 5:10 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Charlize*.